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Eternal Life? Study Says Going to Church Kills Cancer, Makes You Live Longer

May 18, 2016 11:20 AM EDT
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Dr. Tyler VanderWeele of Harvard School revealed religion can also make you live longer.
(Photo : Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Science and philosophy come together in this latest study conducted by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

While it is already a common knowledge that proper diet and an active lifestyle can prolong life, Dr. Tyler VanderWeele, lead author of the study, revealed religion can also make you live longer.

By following a group of 75,000 women for 16 years, he found out that the simple habit of going to church practices every week can lower the risk of death, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.

According to the study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, the mortality rate is 33% lower in women who go to religious service.

"Comparing women who attended religious services more than once per week with those who never attend, the hazard ratio for cardiovascular mortality was 0.73 (95% CI, 0.62-0.85; P < .001 for trend) and for cancer mortality was 0.79," the author writes.

Aside from spiritual benefits, going to church has other benefits such as providing sense of community which in turn makes a person happy and optimistic about life. And it is a well-known fact that happy people live longer because they live a life with less stress and sadness.

Experts on different fields of study had also shared their opinions regarding the findings. Some of them noted that it is not accurate because only women were included in the study. They also said that "religion" is too narrow since it only looked at Catholics and Protestants.

Dr. Dan German Blazer II, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University Medical Center wrote an editorial responding to the study saying that the study is not enough to prove the cause and effect of religion.

In an interview with CNN, he called the study very speculative, suggesting more research to prove the findings at the same time emphasizing that the study has provided more reason to look at religion as not just a spiritual savior but as well as medical intervention.

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